Bremer County Court House

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Bremer County Court House
Bremer County IA Courthouse.jpg
Bremer County Court House is located in Iowa
Bremer County Court House
Location 415 E. Bremer Ave., Waverly, Iowa
Coordinates 42°43′34″N 92°27′54″W / 42.72611°N 92.46500°W / 42.72611; -92.46500Coordinates: 42°43′34″N 92°27′54″W / 42.72611°N 92.46500°W / 42.72611; -92.46500
Built 1937
Architect Mortimer B. Cleveland
Governing body County Government
MPS PWA-Era County Courthouses of IA MPS
NRHP Reference # 03000821 [1]
Added to NRHP August 28, 2003

The Bremer County Court House in Waverly, Iowa, United States was built in 1937. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003 as a part of the PWA-Era County Courthouses of IA Multiple Properties Submission.[1] The courthouse is the fourth building the county has used for court functions and county administration.[2]


Bremer County's first courthouse was a small frame building that was used from 1854-1857.[3] It was replaced by a brick structure that measured 43 by 63 feet and was constructed for $23,000.[3] It was used for a variety of civic purposes until 1869 when the county board of supervisors limited its use to political and county societies. A fireproof building was built next to the existing courthouse in 1870 to house the county records.

Throughout the 1920s and 30s conversations were held at various times concerning a new courthouse to replace the 1857 structure, which had become too small. Funding from the Public Works Administration, or PWA, to assist with construction costs was applied for in 1935 and the request of $60,750 was approved .[2] Waterloo architect Mortimer B. Cleveland was retained to design the new building. A debate was held about moving the county seat to Tripoli, but it was tabled. In March 1936 a referendum to fund the rest of the construction costs was approved by the voters. Drape Construction Co. of Tripoli was awarded the contract to build the building and work commenced in October 1936. Construction was completed the following summer. The building was constructed for $119,000.[2] The dedication ceremony was held on June 6, 1937 with 1,500 people in attendance.[2] Justice Richard Mitchell of the Iowa Supreme Court and P.P. Hopkins, the State PWA Director, were the featured speakers.


The architectural style of the building is known as Depression Modern or PWA Moderne.[2] The building features a symmetrical façade with a central section of 3½ stories that is flanked by two lower sections of 2½ stories. It is built over a raised basement. The exterior is composed of brick and Kasota stone, a cream colored limestone. On the interior the central corridors extend the length of the building. The various county offices open onto the corridors.[2] The interior featured multi-colored terrazzo floors, marble wainscoting and acoustic tile.


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-11-08. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Svendsen, Marlvs A. "PWA-Era County Courthouses of IA MPS" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 2011-02-09. 
  3. ^ a b "Bremer County Courthouse". Iowa Judicial Branch. Retrieved 2011-02-09.